Conference Agenda

New Research on the Atlantic Slave Trade

October 2–3, 2015

A conference sponsored by the Working Group on Comparative Slavery, the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University.


All sessions in CGIS South, Belfer Case Study Room, S020

Friday, October 2

5:00 PM: Welcome Remarks

  • Alejandro de la Fuente, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin-American History and Economics, Department of History; Professor of African and African American Studies, Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University.
  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. University Professor, Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University.

5:15 PM–6:45 PM: Film Screening

  • Ghosts of Amistad, followed by Q & A with Marcus Rediker, Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh.

7:00 PM: Dinner

Saturday, October 3

9:00 AM–11:00 AM: Session I

The Atlantic Slave Trade in Africa: Participants, Complicity, Resistance

  • "Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Atlantic World: Angola and Brazil during the Era of the Slave Trade," Roquinaldo Ferreira, Vasco da Gama Associate Professor, History and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies Departments, Brown University.
  • “From Bahia to Coastal Benin: Reconstructing transatlantic family connections in Agoué,” Elisée Soumonni, Coordinator, Institut Béninois d'études et de recherche sur la diaspora africaine (IBERDA), Université Nationale du Bénin.
  • The Forgotten Slave Traders: Women and Slave Trade in Nineteenth Century Luanda," Vanessa dos Santos Oliveira, PhD Candidate in History, York University.
  • "The Rio Pongo-South Carolina Connection: The Holman Family Build a Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Enterprise," Randy J. Sparks, Professor of History, Tulane University.

11:15 AM–1:00 PM: Session II

The Digital Humanities Revolution and the Study of the Atlantic Slave Trade

  • “Slave Voyages and African-Origins since 2010: Problems, Retrospectives and Reassessments,” David Eltis, Robert W Woodruff Professor Emeritus, Department of History, Emory University.
  • "From Database to Interface: Designing the History of the Atlantic Slave Trade," Vincent Brown, Charles Warren Professor of American History, Department of History; Professor of African and African American Studies, Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University.
  • “Digital Resource Design and the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: Building a Crowd Sourcing Framework for,” Henry Lovejoy, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Texas, Austin.

1:00 PM–2:00 PM Lunch

2:00 PM–4:00 PM: Session III

The Slave Trade in the 19th Century: Liberated Africans and Emancipados

  • “The African Islamic Diaspora to the Americas in the Nineteenth Century,” Daniel Domingues da Silva, Assistant Professor of History, Emory University; and Philip Misevich, Assistant Professor of History, St. John's University.
  • “Liberated Africans in Sierra Leone: Origins and Experiences," Richard Anderson, PhD Candidate in African History, Yale University.
  • “Stolen Slaves, Liberated Africans and Politics in Pernambuco, Brazil: The Case of the Slave Ship Bom Jesus dos Navegantes in 1846," Marcus Joaquim Maciel de Carvalho, Professor of History, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco.
  • “The Slave Trade and the Emancipados in Cuba: New Sources and Research," Maria del Carmen Barcia, Professor of History, University of Havana.


Richard Anderson
Maria del Carmen Barcia
Vincent Brown
Daniel Domingues da Silva
Vanessa dos Santos Oliveira
Marcus Joaquim de Carvalho
David Eltis
Roquinaldo Ferreira
Henry Lovejoy
Philip Misevich
Marcus Rediker
Elisée Soumonni
Randy J. Sparks